War story headline: “We worked as one family”

Channel 4 News followed one family’s long escape from Odesa to reunite in England. When asked what war stories he hoped the youngsters would end up telling each other, Andrij was in no doubt: “we worked as one family”.

I would like them to tell that we worked as a single family looking after each other. It doesn’t matter if you’re nephew, son, brother, father and so on, we are one single family.

Andrij Polyakov

Despite the long perilous journey, the Polyakovs are a lucky family. The war has displaced 10 million Ukrainians and half of all the children from their homes to become refugees struggling to find a new place to stay safe.

Apart from his brother-in-law who stayed to fight at the frontline, Andrij’s whole family finally joined him and his wife, Helen, in Essex.

One family who fled war and ran into the arms of each other.

The Polyakov family is not fully re-united. War inevitably divides and threatens families. Teamed up fighters brave death at the frontline. Their families huddle and survive somewhere safe. Children have nightmares and trust the adults know what’s best. Everyone hopes for life, peace and a return to normal. But they must also fear the worst.

During wartime, families are still the frontline of the hardest emotional journey imaginable. Yet their headline for posterity will always be: “We worked as one family”